Kenya Prisons receive a shot in the arm in efforts to curb spread of covid-19 in prisons

(L-R) Rotary International District 9212’s District Governor, Mr. Patrick Obath ,Nestle East Africa Cluster Managing Director, Mr. Ngentu Njeru, NBCC Chair and Co-founder, Myriam Sidibe , Medical Officer of Health Nairobi East, Dr. Moses Owino and Senior Assistant Commissioner General of Prisons, Mr. Dancan receiving soap donations from Nestle Kenya in partnership with Rotary International District and National Business Compact on Corona virus at Nestle Kenya

The National Business Compact on COVID- 19 (NBCC) has partnered with Nestlé Kenya and the Rotary International District 9212 to enable hygiene practices within the prisons in Nairobi.

Through this partnership, Kenya Prisons Service will be fetching about 20,000 liters of water per day as and when needed which will also be accompanied with soap and 18 hand washing stations donated by NBCC to facilitate and increase the uptake of hand washing in the prisons. The water will be sourced from Nestlé’s borehole at its factory in Industrial area and distributed to the prisons by The Rotary Club of Kenya through its water bowser on a need basis.

Handwashing and proper sanitation have been emphasized, as one of the key preventative measures to combat COVID -19. The very nature of prisons and the population they harbor lends it to a potentially high-risk area, especially on occasions or days when there is water outages or rationing.

The Nairobi prisons currently receive water from Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company but the demand occasionally outstrips the supply, hence it is imperative that the prison authority beef up the water supplies especially during the pandemic and further ensure that the hand washing stations have both clean water and soaps at all times.

“As the pandemic spreads, the response to COVID-19 in prisons and other places of detention becomes more challenging and requires a community approach to help keep the detainees safe and free of the virus. Nestlé cares deeply for people and for the communities in which we operate, and we have an essential role to play in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 amongst vulnerable communities, ” said Mr. Ngéntu Njeru, Nestlé East Africa Cluster, Managing Director.  

With a prison population of over 6,171 inmates in Nairobi and its environs, the Kenyan government has enacted stringent directives in prisons such as restricting visitors to ensure safety of the inmates. Other measures include, health education to inmates on how COVID-19 is spread, and training of Prison staff on COVID-19 prevention.

“I am pleased to be partnering with these three organizations today. As we all know prisons have been identified as an area of concern as they are often overcrowded and have inmates and staff coming and going. I want to assure you that we are at the forefront of assessing and preventing the possible spread of this pandemic in our penal facilities countrywide by enforcing strict measures to ensure that we effectively contain the spread of the virus and that we have,” said Mr. Dancan Ogore, Senior Assistance Commissioner General of Prisons.

Myriam Sidibe, the NBCC chair & co-founder said, “The provision of water and soap is essential for the practice of hygiene, an essential prerequisite to human health during the Pandemic. NBCC’s mission is to limit the spread of infections by improving hygiene practices and contribute to protecting lives and livelihoods across Kenya. We are partnering with like-minded organizations to engrain hand washing and proper sanitation into people’s live as one key preventative measure to combat Covid-19.”